Focus of the lesson: describing cause-effect relationships and their impact on plot; making inferences and drawing conclusions based on explicit and implied information

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MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH INSTRUCTION: Unit 2, Lesson 4


Focus of the lesson: describing cause-effect relationships and their impact on plot; making inferences and drawing conclusions based on explicit and implied information
1. CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS
Describing cause-effect relationships means being able to identify the consequences that result from a particular action OR the actions that produced a particular consequence. Many plots consist primarily of a series of causes and effects.
FOR EXAMPLE:
“The Three Little Pigs”

ACTION (Cause)

CONSEQUENCE (Effect)

Mama Pig kicks the little pigs out of the house to make their way in the world

Little pigs have to devise some kind of shelter

First pig builds house of straw

House falls down when wolf huffs and puffs

Second pig builds house of sticks

House falls down when wolf huffs and puffs

Third pig builds house of bricks

Wolf cannot blow down house

Third pig boils water in a large pot over fire in fireplace


Wolf is scalded to death when he tries to enter the house by coming down the chimney



ACTIVITY 2-4-1
Read the story “The Monkey’s Paw” on pp. 85-99 in the Holt online text. Then complete the Activity on Cause/Effect.

ACTIVITY ON CAUSE/EFFECT
(1) As you read the story “The Monkey’s Paw,” pay particular attention to the way in which cause/effect advances the plot. Notice especially the effects of each of the three wishes granted the couple.
(2) Complete the graphic organizer on the next page.


NOTE: Space is provided for 10 cause/effect relationships, but you may identify fewer OR more than 10. Just leave some spaces blank, or add more spaces as needed.
CAUSE AND EFFECT IN “THE MONKEY’S PAW”

ACTION (Cause)

CONSEQUENCE (EFFECT)








































2. MAKING INFERENCES AND DRAWING CONCLUSIONS BASED ON EXPLICIT AND IMPLIED INFORMATION
For an explanation and examples of inferential thinking/drawing conclusions, access the following website:
Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions


ACTIVITY 2-4-2
PRACTICE WITH INFERENCES
PART A - DIRECTIONS: Read the statement or passage and then circle the letter of the best answer to the question. Answer the question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the statement or passage.

  1. Myths are stories, the products of fertile imagination, sometimes simple, often containing profound truths. They are not meant to be taken too literally. Details may sometimes appear childish, but most myths express a culture's most serious beliefs about human beings, eternity, and God.



The main idea of this passage is that myths
(a) are created primarily to entertain young children
(b) are purposely written for the reader
(c) provide the reader with a means of escape from reality
(d) illustrate the values that are considered important to a society
  1. Australia has many strange beasts, one of the oddest of which is the koala. Perfectly adapted to one specific tree, the eucalyptus, this living teddy bear does not need anything else, not even a drink! The moisture in the leaves is just right for the koala, making it the only land animal that doesn't need water to supplement its food (from That Astounding Creator Nature by Jean George).




The passage indicates that the koala
(a) is a member of the bear family that does not need moisture to live
(b) gets all of its nourishment from the eucalyptus tree
(c) adapts itself to any surroundings
(d) is the only animal that does not need food to live

  1. It is early summer. August's long-awaited vacation time still seems ages away, but by the same toke, its torpor-producing heat and mildew-generating humidity have not yet arrived. Instead, these cool, end-of-June days practically insist on getting the picnic season under way immediately. But, alas, there is a difficulty: alfresco dining has a bad name among us. Tenth-rate hot dogs, carbonized chicken parts, and beef a-la-charcoal are principally what comes to mind when we hear the words "outdoor food" (from A Spanish Picnic by Robert Capon).



The passage suggests that the author believes that
(a) picnicking in August is long-awaited
(b) August is better than June for a picnic
(c) there are some negative aspects to eating outside
(d) picnicking is better alfresco

  1. In embarking on the fight for independence, America faced formidable obstacles. The Continental Congress did not have the authority to pass binding legislation or to impose taxes. The new nation had no army and no navy, and its population numbered only 2.5 million people, 20 percent of whom were slaves. Britain, by contrast, was a mighty power of 11 million people with the world's best navy and a well-disciplined army. Fifty thousand troops were in North America in 1778, and Britain hired thirty thousand German soldiers to supplement its forces during the war (from An American History by Rebecca Brooks Gruver).



What is the main point of the passage?
(a) Britain was a great power whose population outnumbered that of America.
(b) America's military forces were less experienced than Britain's military.
(c) America's Continental Congress had limited authority.
(d) As America was about to engage in its struggle for autonomy, it was faced with arduous barriers.


PART B - DIRECTIONS: Two underlined sentences are followed by a question or statement about them. Read each pair of sentences and then circle the letter of the best answer to the question or the best completion of the statement.

1. The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in fifteen years. Corn and soybean prices are expected to be very high this year.



What does the second sentence do?
(a) It restates the idea found in the first.
(b) It states a result or effect of the statement in the first sentence.
(c) It gives an example of the statement in the first sentence.
(d) It analyzes the statement made in the first sentence.

2. The American prison system functions primarily to exact retribution. In Japan, the courts are less concerned with sending people to jail than they are with rehabilitating them.





What does the second sentence do?
(a) It supports an idea found in the first sentence.
(b) It analyzes an idea stated in the first sentence.
(c) It states a contrast to the statement in the first sentence.
(d) It exemplifies an idea found in the first sentence. 


ACTIVITY 2-4-3
Read the story “The Circuit,” pp. 281-285 in the Holt online literature text.

As you read, answer the five inferential questions that are included with

the story. Be sure to explain clearly the basis for each of your answers.


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